A POPULAR high school — ordered to improve by education watchdogs — is “taking effective action” to raise standards.

Harper Green School, in Farnworth, has been placed in the “requires improvement” category by Ofsted because not enough children were making good progress.

Inspectors found that apart from the behaviour and safety of children, for which Harper Green was rated as good, all areas of the school were in need of improvement.

However, on a recent visit, inspector Paul Chambers noted the school had made the development of teaching and learning a priority, with some staff undergoing training to improve their skills. The proportion of good or better teaching was said to be high, with more teachers being held accountable for the progress of pupils by senior staff.

Mr Chambers reported: “The impact of this training is beginning to be seen — more staff are able to use data to track, at a class level, a range of measures, such as the proportion of students making and exceeding expected progress.”

Mr Chambers also said that pupils had more opportunities in class and the marking of their work now highlighted how they could improve.

But the inspector added: “Although results at key stage three have risen, forecasts for GCSE results in 2014 do not point to significant improvements on those obtained in 2013.”

Ofsted said a key priority is to find a replacement for headteacher Bob Flood, who retired at the end of last year, and ensure the period in between does “not lead to any slack-ening in the drive for improvement”.

Acting headteacher Andrew Foster, who was previously senior deputy head, said: “We are pleased that inspectors recognise the continuing strengths of the school as well as the many improvements in attainment and progress that have taken place recently.

“This is particularly so given the record GCSE results our pupils achieved in summer 2013.

“However, we are fully aware of the need to build on these results and make further progress. Rapid and effective improvements at the school in this respect have recently been confirmed by inspectors.”